We raise mealworms to feed to our chickens, fish and all the critters on the back patio.
We began by purchasing mealworms from the pet store.
The mealworms shed their exoskeleton a few times then morph into pupa. At this stage, they don’t eat and they only move if you touch them.
After a week or so the pupa morph into beetles. The beetles are initially white, then quickly change to light brown then black.
The beetles have a short life span of a couple months. In that time, they breed and the females lay up to 500 eggs. The eggs hatch into baby mealworms, shown here next to flakes of oatmeal.
Then the cycle starts all over again.
We really enjoy raising mealworms. This is a simple and excellent science project for all ages.
We have been through many different setups to see what works. We currently have a small 3 drawer system next to the aquaponics setup.
The mealworms thrive in warm temperatures with high humidity. Here in zone 9b they’re good on the patio throughout the year. Even when it’s cold at night they won’t die, they’ll just slow down. Pet stores keep mealworms in the refrigerator so they go dormant. This prevents the mealworms from morphing into pupa.
Oatmeal is their food source and their moisture comes from sweet potatoes, sugar cane, sprouts and this gourd.
Be careful not to let the moist foods rot and attract nasty little bugs.
We sift the large mealworms and beetles through a strainer. All the eggs and small particles of waste (frass) fall through.
This page is still being edited. New pics, experiments and research coming soon! Please check back often.
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